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Investors bet that you’ll eat wood by investing $10.5M in RTP startup Arbiom

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Arbiom has raised an additional $10.5 million from nine investors to use as working capital to advance the startup company’s “wood-to-food” technology, according to an SEC filing.

The company developed technology that can “produce protein without using conventional plant or animal food sources,” according to its website.

Instead, the bioprocessing technology platform is able to transform wood into food.

Here’s how, according to the website: The technology developed by the company turns wood into “intermediate materials with a range of applications, notably as fermentation medium to grow microorganisms,” the website notes.  Those microorganisms are single-cell protein organisms, and upon further processing, the company says the wood-to-food process can be completed.

Durham wood-to-food startup Arbiom raises $10M

Building on prior funding, support

The company previously raised $10.8 million from three investors in July 2020.  According to the company’s website, 2020 was the year that it began commercial field trials with feed and food stakeholders.

Earlier this year, the company, which describes itself as “a French-American company specializing in the production of high-quality proteins for feed and food applications by processing agricultural and wood residues” in a press statement, received a €12 million grant from the France Relance investment program.

That grant money will fund the construction of a commercial facility that will employ more than 40 workers in the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region of France, according to the company.  The statement released by the company in February notes that this planned project would be the company’s first production facility and could be operational by 2024.

Arbiom launched in 2011 following a proof of concept inside a laboratory, then demonstrated its technology at “pilot plant scale” in 2014, according to its website.  In 2015, the startup won an Innovation 2020 Award.

Then, in 2017, the company launched SYLFEED with €9M in grant funding from the European Union’s Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking under the Horizon 2020 program.  That program, Horizon 2020, would provide an additional €8M in grant funding in 2019.

Marc Chevrel, the company’s CEO, signed the most recent SEC filing.

The company did not immediately respond to a request to comment on this story from WRAL TechWire.